News of the Weird/Pro Edition "You're Still Not Cynical Enough"
Exceptionally Inexplicable Dispatches from Last Week
April 26, 2010
(datelines April 17-April 24) (links correct as of April 26, 2010)
Urchins' Inherent Wisdom, Plus Boobquake, Rectal Beepers, and Assault by Nostril
Are there any people more fatuous than parents who "unschool" their kids (as opposed to home-schooling, in which parents genuinely believe they can "lesson-plan" better than teachers can)? ABC's Good Morning America brought in a Massachusetts couple who took turns condescendingly telling other parents that they should "trust [the] kids," that kids need no structure, no rules–that they'll surely learn on their own everything that's important to them. Just what society needs: even more kids growing up to think they're the center of the universe. ABC News
Fabulous Concierge Service: Britain's Rodney Morgan family, intending to drop major dollars for a stay at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla., wanted assurance that he and his party would not be served by "people of colour" or people with "foreign accents." (Bonus: According to this lawsuit, the Ritz said, Yes, of course! Will do!) The Times (London)
Democrat Gregg Kravitz, running for a Pennsylvania state legislative seat, was sexually "outed" by his primary opponent, who accused Kravitz of being straight, and in the 182nd district, being straight is a liability. Kravitz said he's "bi," which set off a cacaphony of gaydar detectors. (And the organization sponsoring the Gay Softball World Series disqualified a team called "D2," which finished second in 2008, because it violated the maximum-ringers rule. A team can have only two straights, not two straights and a bi. That team needs to go find a Bi Softball World Series.) Philadelphia Inquirer /// Seattle Times
Will today (Monday) pass without a major earthquake? The week before last, a senior Iranian cleric blamed the 'quakes in Haiti and Chile, among others, on the creeping Western fashion sense of Muslim women. Jennifer McCreight then launched a Facebook page, seeking commitments from women worldwide to don their best cleavageware outfits on Monday, April 26th, to empirically test the cleric's theory. News.com.au /// Agence France-Presse via Courier Mail (Brisbane)
Testifying for a Georgia bill to ban unconsensual microchip-implanting in humans was a very helpful citizen complaining about her own plight. "Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum or genital area . . . and your beeper numbers displayed on billboards throughout the city." (By this time, the bill's supporters in the room are averting their eyes, staring at the crown molding, imagining the Georgia Bulldogs' 2010 prospects.) "This microchip was put in my vaginal-rectum area . . . by researchers with the . . . Department of Defense." Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The too-big-for-his-britches former state Republican Party chairman in Florida, Jim Greer, was outed by a fellow GOP official for ordering an assistant to walk into a Republican National Committee meeting every few minutes with urgent messages from Gov. Crist. Turns out the messages were just blank pieces of paper. (It's important to look important.). Orlando Sentinel
My brother Bob found these salt and pepper shakers in a junk store and could not resist buying them. Two women with Marge-Simpson hairdos in the form of carrot and corn prepare to engage in fisticuffs.
Can anyone explain the iconography here? Note that they do originate in Japan, source of much strangeness.
At the Cape Coral, Florida Walmart a woman took $163 worth of clothing into a fitting room and urinated on it before leaving the store. This story brings back one from January here in Ohio. A man walked into a Canton Walmart and urinated in a cooler full of meat. About $600 worth of steak was destroyed. So I ask the question, what is it about Walmart that encourages certain people to pee on their wares? I bet they'd like to know as well.
note: You must scroll down a bit for the story at the Canton link.
Carl Hoffman has done a few things that most of us would never dream of doing. He has flown on airlines said to have the worst safety records in the world and ridden in old buses in South America as they crawled along cliff-top dirt roads. He also packed himself into already crowded ferries on the Amazon and trains crossing Africa. Why? To experience travel not as we might while on vacation, but as an ordinary person trying to get from point A to point B as cheaply as possible. Hoffman talks about his adventures here, and in his new book, "The Lunatic Express."
Boobquake is the name Jennifer McCreight has given to the event she's organized in response to an Iranian cleric's remarks. Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi claims that women wearing revealing clothing is to blame for, amongst other things, earthquakes. In answer at least 30,000 women will wear the most revealing clothing they own on Monday April 26th to see if they can make the earth move. If not then one Iranian holy man will have some splainin' to do.
Mangalitzas are a breed apart, so to speak. Originating in Austria/Hungary they are a hardy breed of pig that do well even in cold winter weather. When I saw the Sky News story I initially suspected the pictures were photo-shopped, but found they were real, and really cool too!
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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